Buying property in Bulgaria: What you must know

Property for sale in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is traditionally a widely preferred destination for cultural, sea and mountain tourism thanks to its rich, well-preserved natural diversity, the affordable cost of living, and the cultural proximity to the rest of Europe and the Slavic cultural region. Moreover, Bulgaria is roughly two hours away from every major European capital by air.

It comes as no surprise that a growing number of international settlers have decided to go beyond tourism and buy property in Bulgaria. From senior citizens who seek a calm place to live happily to young business entrepreneurs and families who want to enjoy a seasonal holiday home by the seashore, Bulgaria is welcoming an increasing number of long-term visitors.

In this article, you can obtain all the relevant information you’ll need before you decide to buy real estate in Bulgaria. Learn about the country’s most popular destinations, the variety of residences on offer, and the legal aspects of the Bulgarian property market.

We will begin by presenting some of the most charming regions of the country, which are experiencing an ever-increasing real estate demand. You might want to consider them if you are looking to buy property in Bulgaria.

Do you need legal advice and assistance? Contact our experienced lawyers.


Buying property in Sofia and other major Bulgarian cities

The capital of Bulgaria is inevitably among the leading places of interest for foreign buyers and investors. The recent tendency is that more and more people are choosing to invest their money in properties in Sofia mainly to rent or resale them later. Long-term settlers, on the other hand, need to keep a few essential details in mind before choosing the most desirable living area of the city. They include local infrastructure, parking arrangements, kindergartens, and schools.

If you prefer a big and well-arranged but not necessarily cosmopolitan and overcrowded city, there are a few other destinations in Bulgaria, which could be more than satisfactory. The municipalities of Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Burgas, and Stara Zagora are “the usual suspects” in the annual “Best city to live in Bulgaria” ranking for the last decade.

The choice of destination needs to be based on your personal preferences. If historical sights and cultural heritage matter the most you, you will probably feel well in Veliko Tarnovo; if you’re into arts and contemporary vibes - Plovdiv will suit you best; and if you fancy a green, well-established city by the Black Sea coast - Burgas and Varna will match your preference.

Buying property on the Black Sea coast

Speaking of a sea view, Varna and Burgas are certainly not the only alternatives available. Virtually every beach resort by the Black Sea offers the dream house for sale, which expects its ideal future inhabitants.

The charm of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast lies within its diversity. Along with the shiny, vibrant, and crowdy little towns such as Sunny Beach, Sozopol, and Nesebar, a number of hidden peaceful gems await those who would appreciate them.

The southern part of the Bulgarian shoreline stands in immediate proximity to the Strandzha Mountain. It is, therefore, a great place to simultaneously enjoy the wilderness behind your back, and the seashore at your feet. A considerable part of it is a Nature Reserve, so it is safe to say that this part of the coast is less “polluted” by modern civilization.

Seasonal homes by the coast are currently the most desirable type of real estate in Bulgaria, and that is why both used and newly built properties are fast to sell. The extensive foreign presence in the area constitutes an international environment, both in terms of culture and property pricing. A recent real estate market study shows that most of the foreign property owners in the area come from Russia, Ukraine, the UK, Germany, Poland, Austria, Ireland, Belarus.

Buying mountain and village homes in Bulgaria

Mountain and village homes are not the most prominent, but currently the most rapidly growing part of the real estate market of the country. Two basic kinds of properties present a noteworthy interest for foreign vacationists and settlers - those located near the ski resorts, and those placed somewhere in the heart of the marvelous Bulgarian mountains.

To begin with, Bulgaria is a distinctive ski tourism destination. If you are a winter sports connoisseur, you probably know that already.

Fully-equipped skiing facilities and excellent weather conditions attract visitors from all over Europe to enjoy exercising their favorite sports every year. That’s why locations such as Bansko, Pamporovo, Borovets, or Dobrinishte, realize a huge real-estate market among foreigners. Each of those areas has not only a modern ski lift and kilometers of ski slopes but also a delightful set of wellness opportunities.

Buying a property in or around these resorts basically guarantees that you will have a swimming pool, a sauna, hot mineral water, and a Jacuzzi within a 5 minutes walking distance. And most likely a great mountain view.

Currently, one of the most tempting proposals on the Bulgarian real estate market is the 5-star Pirin Golf & Country Club. The luxurious properties within the resort are equally fascinating for both mountain lovers and business investors. 

If you rather imagine owning your private, solitary shelter in the mountains of Bulgaria, away from the hustle and bustle of the popular tourist destinations, we have a solution for you. Sadly, many Bulgarians experience difficulties finding satisfactory employment away from the major municipalities of the country. That’s why buying a fully furnished Bulgarian house in some peaceful developed village is very easy and surprisingly affordable. 

One of the finest places to escape from reality is the magnificent Rhodope Mountain, widely referred to as “the mountain with a soul” - the home of the mythical singer Orpheus. Along with the big guest houses and villas around, there are a number of family homes for sale. Even brief research will give you dozens of options for buying a stable built house of every size, often including a considerable piece of land or a country yard.

The attractive real estate offers, combined with the unbelievable nature and the traditionally well-arranged IT infrastructure in Bulgaria, presuppose the development of the so-called “IT villages.” They are previously depopulated Bulgarian mountain settlements, which come to life by becoming a lively community of foreign IT developers, which use it as their new home and remote office.

Do you need legal advice and assistance? Contact our experienced lawyers.


Legal aspects of the Bulgarian real estate market

Since 2012, all EU and EEA citizens can legally buy land in Bulgaria. This applies to houses with gardens, all plots of land that are within the zoning of the settlements, apartments coming with shares of the land, offices and other commercial properties.

Once you decide to buy property in Bulgaria (or agricultural land), there are several fundamental legal aspects that you need to be informed about.

First of all, carefully check the legal status of the real estate that you are going to buy, i.e.: do your legal due diligence. Here is a brief checklist:

  • Foreign citizens are allowed to freely buy and sell all types of real estate in Bulgaria. There are no legal restrictions of any character. 
  • The legal framework in Bulgaria is harmonized with the EU legislation, which logically follows the European Union membership of the country. Some minor differences are not unlikely to occur, but the basics will not involve any surprises.
  • You have to thoroughly inspect the property before you proceed with engaging in any arrangements. Start with making sure that there aren’t any encumbrances on the property for sale, such as mortgages or foreclosures.
  • If the real property includes building(s), you have to carefully review the construction documents in order to verify that the legal construction requirements are duly met.
  • It is also advisable to insist on receiving legal documentation, which proves that the person who sells the property is actually its rightful owner.
  • A good lawyer will provide the client with a comprehensive due diligence request list.

Please consider the following prior to paying the sales price and executing the purchase agreement:

  • You have to be sure that all material terms and conditions are agreed by the parties in writing. It has to be clear what amount of the purchase price is paid and what the obligations of the seller are.
  • Sign a preliminary agreement if you need more time for conducting a due diligence or if the seller has not gathered all needed papers. Do not involve efforts and do not spend money without having a binding preliminary agreement. 
  • A Bulgarian notary public will be involved in preparing the contract of sale and issuing the public deeds. You, as the purchaser, have the right to choose the notary you use, and you are the one who pays the notary fees.
  • Prepare carefully the execution of the notary deed: request in advance all papers from the seller (the cadastral certificate, title deed, etc.) and coordinate all details with the notary prior to the date of signing. Do not leave anything for the very last minute. The execution of the notary deed is a strictly formal procedure and small details may hinder the property transaction.

Buying property in Bulgaria, and anywhere else, is a serious endeavor. It is strongly recommended to suit yourself with a knowledgeable and trustworthy lawyer who is familiar with the Bulgarian law and will protect your best interest during the deal and save you from dishonest sellers or real estate agents. It’s best not to pay a deposit before your Bulgarian real estate lawyer has taken a look at the preliminary contract.

Danailova, Todorov and Partners law firm has extensive experience in the sales of properties. Our law firm is a regional contributor to the Doing Business survey which is published annually by IFC and the World Bank. Danailova, Todorov and Partners provides its clients with comprehensive legal advice and handles the whole life cycle of the transactions of properties. Contact us if you are buying property in Bulgaria.


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g.k. Gotse Delchev, ul. "Slavovitsa" , block 24Е, office 2, 1404 Sofia, Bulgaria

Western Industrial Zone, 2 Neptun Str.,
9000 Varna, Bulgaria

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